By Allison Prang
American Express Co.'s earnings and revenue fell in the fourth quarter from a year ago while the company logged a negative provision for credit losses.
American Express reported $1.44 billion in profit, which fell from the comparable quarter a year ago's $1.69 billion. Earnings were $1.76 a share, down from $2.03 a share. According to FactSet, analysts were expecting $1.31 a share.
The company -- similar to banks that have reported their recent results -- had a release for credit losses of $111 million, compared with a provision of $665 million in the third quarter. It was $1.02 billion the comparable quarter a year earlier.
Revenue, net of interest expense, was $9.35 billion, down from $11.37 billion a year ago. Analysts were expecting $9.34 billion.
"While we are still seeing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, trends continued to steadily improve in the fourth quarter," Chief Executive and Chairman Stephen Squeri said in prepared remarks. He added that nontravel and entertainment spending surpassed its levels before the Covid-19 pandemic for the second quarter in a row.
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Dow Jones Newswires